Pokemon Go raises safety concerns

8 months 6 days 1 hour ago July 16, 2016 Jul 16, 2016 Saturday, July 16 2016 Saturday, July 16, 2016 3:58:00 PM CDT in News
By: Lauren Barnas, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – The new Pokémon GO cell phone app is setting download records across the world and in mid-Missouri. With players constantly looking down at their phones, the game is raising questions about safety.

“We have a lot of trail systems that may have a trail crossing such as Stephens Lake Park,” Gabe Huffington, the park services manager for Columbia Parks and Recreation, said. “So as you're driving into the park, you know, the number one thing is we hope you're not on your phone and driving. 

He said kids running around in parks heightens the concern for safety.

“With those trail crossings and sidewalk crossings and with the amount of kids we have in parks, be cognizant of what's going on around you,” Huffington said.

Jordan Singleton has been playing Pokémon GO since its release on July 6. He said the app’s design takes those safety concerns into account.

"This games has maps,” Singleton said. “It shows you where roads are that you probably shouldn't be crossing. So whenever you play, your character has a circle that pings and it's a good circle that radiates 10 to 15 feet to where you don't have to step in the road if there's one in the road, you can just kind of be near it."

Huffington said Columbia Parks and Recreation has seen an increase in the amount of people in parks after hours since the game’s release.

“Always be aware of park hours. Our parks close at 11 p.m. and open back up at 6 a.m. unless you're at Cosmo Park, it closes at midnight,” Huffington said. “So if you are in the park system and it's after 11 p.m., whether it's our park rangers of the Columbia Police Department, or our private security team, they may come up to you and ask you to leave the park."

Players say it’s tempting to look for Pokémon after park hours because there is a different set of characters at night, called ghost characters.

Despite safety concerns, Huffington said the app is a great way to get the community moving. When players download the game, it tells them where to go to find Pokémon. Players say although you can drive to find Pokémon, it’s much easier to catch them if you pick a spot and start walking.

Players say public areas like the mall, parks, and downtown Columbia are popular spots to find characters, but new Pokémon are dropped at different locations constantly.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - New software will make infrastructure projects in Jefferson City easier to manage, more cost effective and more... More >>
2 hours ago March 23, 2017 Mar 23, 2017 Thursday, March 23 2017 Thursday, March 23, 2017 3:31:23 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A federal grand jury indicted a Columbia man today for producing and distributing child pornography. Sergio... More >>
8 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 9:21:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The City Supplier Diversity Program and Shelter Insurance teamed up to host the Building Inclusive Partnership’s EXPO for... More >>
10 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 7:03:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Dozens of people gathered at the ARC to voice their concerns over Governor Eric Greitens proposed budget cuts... More >>
10 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 6:55:00 PM CDT in News
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A Missouri woman has been ordered to spend a quarter century in Illinois prison for killing... More >>
12 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 5:13:19 PM CDT in News
CLAYTON (AP) — A trial is underway in suburban St. Louis in the case of a mother accused of poisoning... More >>
12 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 5:10:12 PM CDT in News
OWENSVILLE (AP) — Authorities in east-central Missouri's Gasconade County say they're investigating as a homicide the death of a person... More >>
12 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 5:08:19 PM CDT in News
MEXICO - A middle school student was turned over to the Missouri Division of Youth Services Wednesday after Mexico Public... More >>
12 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 4:58:13 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation held a public hearing in Columbia Wednesday to hear feedback on ways to improve services... More >>
13 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 3:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – The Secretary of State’s office has implemented an initiative called “ Show It 2 Vote, ” to educate... More >>
14 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 3:10:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Southeastern Conference and Mizzou athletics are mimicking the National Football League and its initiative to keep game... More >>
14 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 2:43:00 PM CDT in Sports
COLUMBIA - The president of the East Campus Majority Housing Association said Wednesday his group "lost" Monday night with the... More >>
15 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 2:17:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police are now investigating a Tuesday night shooting as a homicide. Shamya Nichole Brimmage died Wednesday from... More >>
15 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 1:46:00 PM CDT in News
GLASGOW – The coroner’s inquest for Kenny Suttner brought questions about the potential liability for employers and schools in... More >>
16 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 1:20:00 PM CDT in Target 8
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The husband of a woman whose body was found near a St. Louis freeway two days... More >>
17 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 12:27:18 PM CDT in News
ST. GEORGE (AP) — Authorities say two people have been killed after a sport utility vehicle's driver who was headed... More >>
18 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 11:01:06 AM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - One woman is dead after she was shot Tuesday night in Columbia. Shamya Brimmage, 25, died at... More >>
18 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 10:41:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Police made two additional arrests connected with Sunday morning's disturbance at the Eagle Stop on I-70. Columbia... More >>
19 hours ago March 22, 2017 Mar 22, 2017 Wednesday, March 22 2017 Wednesday, March 22, 2017 10:16:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 42°
6am 45°
7am 44°
8am 43°
9am 43°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
6:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
7:00a
Today
5:00a
Paid Program
5:30a
Paid Program
6:00a
King of the Hill

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
Powerless
8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
The Blacklist: Redemption
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld